Russell Ingall to Reach 100-Round Milestone this Weekend For any cricketer, reaching the nervous 90s is quite an achievement, but really means nothing until the scoreboard has clicked over to triple figures. The opposite could be said for the...
Russell Ingall to Reach 100-Round Milestone this Weekend
For any cricketer, reaching the nervous 90s is quite an achievement, but really means nothing until the scoreboard has clicked over to triple figures.
The opposite could be said for the V8 Supercar series with drivers registering their 100th start sometimes being considered old and beyond their competitive peak.
Caltex Havoline Racing's Russell Ingall will reach his 100-round milestone this weekend in the fifth round of the 2004 V8 Supercar Championship Series at Perth's Barbagallo Raceway - and his innings is far from over!
Ingall, 40, is regarded as one of the real stars for the ever-improving V8 circus and he is more competitive than he has ever been aboard his Stone Brothers Racing Falcon.
In his previous 99 starts Ingall has won 10 rounds and a total of 24 races.
These statistics do not include his two victories at Bathurst in 1995 and 97 when the 1000km classic was not part of the championship.
Then there was his non-championship victory in the Sandown 500 in 1998, his eight non-championship support race wins at the Foster's Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne or his two non-point scoring race victories at the Lexmark Indy 300 on the Gold Coast.
One of the biggest turning points in Ingall's career came at one minute past midnight last year when he officially became a Ford driver with Stone Brothers Racing after seven seasons with a Holden team.
The controversial move would also produce one of the highlights of his career -- and it wouldn't take long.
"Everyone who wins Bathurst must count that as a highlight of their V8 Supercar career, and I do," said Ingall.
"But coming out and winning races for the first time ever in a Ford in the support races at the Grand Prix at Albert Park last year meant an amazing amount to me.
"There had been a lot of things said about me changing camps from Holden to Ford and even a few that had written me off.
"To be on the pace straight away was very satisfying and we managed to continue that form for a lot of the season."
And what about celebrating his 100th round in WA?
"I have always had a strong fan base in WA so to reach triple figures at Barbagallo will be pretty cool," said Ingall.
"I have always had reasonable results in the West, but I have never managed to win at Wanneroo. Hopefully we can turn that around this weekend.
"I think the resurfacing of the circuit is going to provide everyone with a brand new level playing field and I think the speed we see this weekend will be fantastic."
So with 99 rounds under his belt and triple figures to be reached this weekend, how many more times can we expect to see "The Enforcer" line up on a V8 Supercar grid?
"It is an old cliche, but I guess I will stop doing it when I stop enjoying it and I am a long way from that," said Ingall.
"Have I got another 100 or so races left in me? -- I would like to think so."
BARBAGALLO - MEMORABLE MOMENT
"One year I did what NASCAR drivers say to do and hit everything, including the pace car. I had clipped a wall and was reversing back on to the track, but did not realise the pace car was behind me. I was also leaving the track one Saturday night when some naked guy came running out of the camping area beside the track and tried to hand me a can of VB," Russell Ingall.